Tutorial :PowerShell - Start-Process and Cmdline Switches



Question:

I can run this fine:

$msbuild = "C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v3.5\MSBuild.exe"   start-process $msbuild -wait  

But when I run this code (below) I get an error:

$msbuild = "C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v3.5\MSBuild.exe /v:q /nologo"   start-process $msbuild -wait  

Is there a way I can pass parameters to MSBuild using start-process? I'm open to not using start-process, the only reason I used it was I needed to have the "command" as a variable.

When I have
C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v3.5\MSBuild.exe /v:q /nologo
on a line by itself, how does that get handled in Powershell?

Should I be using some kind of eval() kind of function instead?


Solution:1

you are going to want to separate your arguments into separate parameter

$msbuild = "C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v3.5\MSBuild.exe"  $arguments = "/v:q /nologo"  start-process $msbuild $arguments   


Solution:2

Using explicit parameters, it would be:

$msbuild = 'C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v3.5\MSBuild.exe'  start-Process -FilePath $msbuild -ArgumentList '/v:q','/nologo'  

EDIT: quotes.


Solution:3

Warning

If you run PowerShell from a cmd.exe window created by Powershell, the 2nd instance no longer waits for jobs to complete.

cmd>  PowerShell  PS> Start-Process cmd.exe -Wait   

Now from the new cmd window, run PowerShell again and within it start a 2nd cmd window: cmd2> PowerShell

PS> Start-Process cmd.exe -Wait  PS>     

The 2nd instance of PowerShell no longer honors the -Wait request and ALL background process/jobs return 'Completed' status even thou they are still running !

I discovered this when my C# Explorer program is used to open a cmd.exe window and PS is run from that window, it also ignores the -Wait request. It appears that any PowerShell which is a 'win32 job' of cmd.exe fails to honor the wait request.

I ran into this with PowerShell version 3.0 on windows 7/x64


Solution:4

I've found using cmd works well as an alternative, especially when you need to pipe the output from the called application (espeically when it doesn't have built in logging, unlike msbuild)

cmd /C "$msbuild $args" >> $outputfile


Solution:5

Unless the OP is using PowerShell Community Extensions which does provide a Start-Process cmdlet along with a bunch of others. If this the case then Glennular's solution works a treat since it matches the positional parameters of pscx\start-process : -path (position 1) -arguments (positon 2).


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